There's something for everybody among the top new movies to stream this week. More theatrical releases have hit streaming, while Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services are dropping original movies.
The Flash begins streaming this week, so you can catch Ezra Miller's speedster and Batman cameos by both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck. If you're looking for a better-reviewed title, the indie drama Past Lives is well worth watching. And Vacation Friends 2 is the dumb-but-still-funny comedy you need to ride out the end of summer.
Here are all the top new movies to stream this week.
Past Lives (Digital)
The last two Best Picture Oscar winners, Everything Everywhere All at Once and CODA, were indies that premiered at early festivals. I’m not saying Past Lives will make it a hat trick, but the romantic drama received rave reviews and could be a strong contender come awards season. At the very least, it’s been a welcome countermeasure to all the big-budget summer fare.
Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) were childhood friends in South Korea separated when Nora’s family moved to the United States. Two decades later, they reunite when Hae Sung visits New York. As they reconnect, they confront the “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” of their lives. Nora is married, but does destiny have some other outcome in mind for them?
Buy digitally on Amazon right now (release date Aug. 22)
Two Tickets to Greece (Digital)
This fluffy French comedy sends two middle-aged friends from childhood on a sun-soaked adventure on the Greek Isles. When free-spirited music journalist Magalie (Laure Calamy) and buttoned-up recent divorcee Blandine (Olivia Côte) reconnect after decades, they decide to take the vacation of their teenage dreams.
When Blandine’s carefully-made plans go awry due to Magalie’s absentmindedness, they end up on a tiny, rustic island. From there, their trip takes some interesting turns. Eventually, they sync up with a hippie jewelry designer, Bijou (Kristin Scott Thomas), who serves as a bridge between the two mismatched friends.
Buy digitally on Apple right now (release date Aug. 22)
The Eight Mountains (Criterion Channel, Digital)
This friendship adventure movie offers wildly different visuals and tone from the above film, yet both explore the depths of a bond built between two people. Pietro (Luca Marinelli) and Bruno (Alessandro Borghi) meet as children when Pietro’s family spends the summers in Bruno’s isolated village at the base of the Italian Alps.
They have contrasting backgrounds, prospects and personalities, and in some periods, they fall out of touch. Yet, their connection endures through the decades. When adult Pietro’s father dies, the two men reunite to build a mountainside cottage. As with any good friendship, it’s like they never stopped hanging out.
How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Hulu)
The book that this action thriller is based on doesn’t actually convey instructions on blowing up a pipeline. Instead, Andreas Malm’s treatise considers the boundaries of radical actions in the pursuit of social justice. Not surprisingly the movie adaptation takes a more, well, explosive angle, but still draws comparisons between eco-”terrorists” and revolutionaries like the Founding Fathers.
In West Texas, a group of eight environment activists decide to take matters into their own hands. This is essentially a heist story, but instead of breaking into a vault, they’re detonating a pipeline in order to drive up oil prices. As slick and entertaining as it can be, the film also keeps the focus on the real-life stakes involving every lifeform on this planet.
Stream on Hulu starting Aug. 24
The Dive (Digital)
Here’s another entry in the “two girls trapped in a ____” genre that as become popular in recent years thanks to 47 Meters Down, 12 Feet Deep and Fall. Sisters Drew (Sophie Lowe) and May (Louisa Krause) go on a deep-sea diving trip at one of the world’s most remote spots.
But when a catastrophic landslide sends massive boulders into the sea, May is trapped by the debris 28 meters below the surface. Unable to move and running out of oxygen, she must rely on Drew to fight for her survival. But time is quickly running out.
Rent/buy digitally on Apple (release date Aug. 25)
Vacation Friends 2 (Hulu)
Did anyone really need a sequel to the 2021 buddy comedy? No, but we’re glad to have it all the same. The first movie was a pleasant surprise with its light-hearted humor and observations about adult friendships. The sequel picks up after a few months, when newly married couple Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) invite their inhibited pals Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) to join them for an all-expenses-paid trip to a Caribbean resort.
Marcus is traveling there to meet with the resort owners about a potential construction contract. But business soon turns into displeasure when Kyla’s incarcerated father Reese (Steve Buscemi) unexpectedly turns up. And like their previous vacation, this one descends into total chaos.
Stream on Hulu starting Aug. 24
The Flash (Digital)
The DCEU movie was been burdened by development issues, pandemic delays and star Ezra Miller's various legal troubles. None of those things might have mattered in the end if The Flash had raced to record totals at the box office — but it didn’t.
The Flash floundered, despite a well-regarded director in Andy Muschietti (IT), some positive reviews and the return of previous Batmans Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck. Perhaps audiences had grown tired of multiverse storylines. In The Flash’s version, Barry Allen (played by Ezra Miller) uses the Speed Force to travel back in time to save his mother. But those actions lead to unintended consequences, creating alternate realities and dangerous villains.
Buy digitally on Amazon (release date Aug. 25)
You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah (Netflix)
The star of Netflix’s latest Sandler film is not Adam, but his daughter, Sunny Sandler. In fact, You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah is a family affair, with Adam, his wife Jackie and their other daughter Sadie all showing up to the party. They will be joined by Idina Menzel (Sandler’s castmate from Uncut Gems), Luis Guzmán and Sarah Sherman.
Lifelong best friends Stacy (Sandler) and Lydia (Samantha Lorraine) have always dreamed about having epic bat mitzvahs. But their plans go awry when popular boy Andy Goldfarb (Dylan Hoffman) and Hebrew school drama come between them.
Stream on Netflix starting Aug. 25
Monica (AMC Plus)
Break out the tissues when you watch this heartfelt melodrama about a trans woman who returns home to care for her ailing, estranged mother. At a young age, Monica (Trace Lysette) was cast out by her mom, Eugenia (Patricia Clarkson), because of her sexuality. Now an adult, Monica keeps her feelings of abandonment and isolation tamped down.
Then Monica receives the news that her mother is very ill and needs care. But when she arrives, she discovers Eugenia has no idea who she is. Monica doesn’t reveal her identity, but despite that decision — or perhaps because of it — they develop an emotional bond that feels as strong as any mother and daughter.
Stream on AMC Plus starting Aug. 25